Hispanics United of Buffalo, Inc.• Employee complained to co-worker about “slacker” employees. Five employees engaged in a Facebook conversation about the complainer and were fired.• "Employees have a protected right to discuss matters affecting their employment amongst themselves…Explicit or implicit criticism by a co-worker of the manner in which they are performing their jobs is a subject about which employee discussion is protected.”-- Judge Amchan, 2011• Facebook posts constitute protected speech under the National Labor Relations Act (section 7) when they involve concerted activity (discussion).
What is not Concerted Activity?• One employee ranting on a social media site• Disparaging another employee about something not related to work, such as sexual orientation• “Disloyal” statements that are defamatory and not supported by facts• Divulging confidential information
• Do not accept friend requests from students or initiate requests to students• Create a Facebook group for students• Use a profile that is strictly professional• Use the privacy controls on Facebook (and ask students to do the same)
Facebook Group: Faculty Ethics onFacebook• Don’t friend students unless they request the connection.• Never require students to participate in Facebook or have Facebook participation influence a course grade.• Never pressure students to friend the professor (such as repeated mention of a faculty profile in class).• Accept friend requests from all students (unless the instructor makes the decision not to friend students at all).• Take extreme care with privacy settings and profile content.
Twitter and LinkedIn• Consider using Twitter and/or LinkedInto connect with students. • Twitter is mainly text and sometimes photos or links. Information shared is not as personal. • LinkedIn is similar to sharing resumes.
USF Social Media Guidelines• Present yourself as an individual. • “The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of South Florida.”• Posts may be considered public record. • Applies in situations where you tweet/post in official capacity or comment on USF business.• Be aware of Sunshine Meetings Laws. • Two or more members of board, commission, or committee should not discuss business on their social media platforms. From “Individual Use of Social Media” www.usf.edu/brand/social-media/individual-guidelines.asp
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